How can we reach our 2020
Greenest City Targets?

GC 2020

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  1. Paint bicycle lanes red

    While concrete planters are very pretty and effective in protecting cyclists from motor traffic, they are also quite expensive and take up space to use everywhere. To increase the visibility of on-road and off-road bike paths, paving the bike routes will remind drivers there are cyclists coming by and raise the general prominence of this type of transportation while also allowing for a softer/ less resistance pavement to be used for smaller footprint/ lighter bicycles.

    8 votes
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    City crews have marked potential conflict areas on the Dunsmuir separated bikeway—i.e. intersections, driveway paths, and bike boxes—in bright green. It’s intended to remind all users—cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians alike—to be a little more mindful in these areas.

    This approach could be rolled out elsewhere if it is shown to be effective.

    We have chosen the colour—a bright, reflective green that is visible even on dark, rainy winter days—as it is an emerging North American standard for cycling facilities. We’re moving away from the colour we used to use, red, since it has recently become the standard for transit. Blue designates special accessibility zones.

  2. Rezone areas adjacent to commercial streets rather than displacing existing businesses.

    Our network of commercial streets are generally the cultural heart of various Vancouver neighbourhoods. Currently, Vancouver is rezoning many commercial areas to accommodate higher density structures. This is a good ideas; however, this progress is slowly eradicating long-time businesses in commercial buildings. This is also eroding Vancouver's commercial property tax revenue.

    I believe that (in more cases) the city of Vancouver should be rezoning the single family residences that surround these arteries instead. In many cases the houses are generic 'Vancouver Specials' and lowrise, 1950s style homes that were built to accommodate a vehicle-centric lifestyle. Many people are price out…

    4 votes
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    Concern for the continued viability of existing business is an important issue in Neighbourhood Centre and Corridor planning initiatives. However, rezoning residential properties to allow for commercial uses should be considered on a case-by-case basis (it could work in some areas, but not in others) and should proceed with caution.

  3. Pedestrian countdown signals

    Burnaby has introduced many of these on city streets, while Vancouver still has very few. Especially at pedestrian controlled intersections it is important to know how long the wait will be (and whether the button is working or not).

    3 votes
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  4. Introduce shared streets

    Granville Island is the closest thing we have in Vancouver to a shared street, where pedestrians, bikes, and cars are free to mix at low speeds. Side streets in Yaletown, Gastown, and other areas would benefit from this concept. New Road in Brighton is but one of many examples.

    5 votes
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    The Draft Greenest City Action plan will include directions to explore pedestrian-only and pedestrian-priority streets in the downtown core. Potential locations will be identified at a later date (e.g. as part of the transportation plan update).

  5. Covered bike racks like these from San Francisco (South Park) #bikearc http://ow.ly/i/2AC9

    Covered bike racks to keep people's seats dry during the rainy season would increase accessibility and make it more attractive to ride through the winter. This design isn't perfect but it gives you an idea of what we could do.

    15 votes
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  6. Create a Separated Bike Lane on Commercial Drive

    Commercial Drive is a destination shopping street in Vancouver's east side. It is already a popular route for cyclists, but there is currently no cycling facility provided.

    The current route network lacks sufficient safe links to shopping destinations. A new separated bike route on Commercial Drive would address this issue and encourage new cyclists. As cyclist traffic increases, local businesses could also benefit from new the new street traffic.

    19 votes
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    The city’s new 10-year cycling program master plan will soon be in development, and hopefully completed within the next year. A big part of the work ahead is to identify where separated bike lanes might be appropriate.

    Lessons learned from the downtown trial will be an important input into the plan. The results so far support evidence elsewhere that separated bike lanes are a great way to make cycling more attractive on busy streets.

    For more information, visit http://vancouver.ca/cycling .

  7. Create a separated bike lane along Kingsway

    It is an incredibly direct route leading from Broadway corridor to Burnaby, but currently has far too many lanes of car traffic to feel good cycling along it.

    37 votes
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    The city’s new 10-year cycling program master plan will soon be in development, and hopefully completed within the next year. A big part of the work ahead is to identify where separated bike lanes might be appropriate.

    Lessons learned from the downtown trial will be an important input into the plan. The results so far support evidence elsewhere that separated bike lanes are a great way to make cycling more attractive on busy streets.

    For more information, visit http://vancouver.ca/cycling .

  8. Create a public bike sharing program (e.g. Montreal's Bixi, Paris' Velib)

    Montreal has installed the Bixi bike system, similar to many European systems, of having publicly available bikes for a small cost downtown on major street corners. The bikes are incredibly robust, widely available, and highly convenient with bike stands every 2-3 blocks.

    It encourages locals to bike (rather than take the bus or metro) and is great for short trips around town. It is very convenient as there is always a drop off location nearby, and there is no worry of getting your bike stolen. It is also a huge tourist attraction, making transport easier, cheaper and greener!

    155 votes
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  9. Covered bicycle parking

    Cycling in the rain's not so bad, but getting on a wet bicycle is not so great. We need to get more bicycle parking in sheltered areas where the bike is dry when you need it.

    8 votes
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  10. Increase residential density to achieve efficient land use and high walking/cycling/transit mobility

    Our high dependence on gasoline for transportation is largely due to our lifestyle of single-family dwellings. When density is increased, we would be reducing long-distance commutes and automatically encouraging people to walk and bike. Public transportation would also see more riders and be used more effectively. Higher residential density also means more efficient land use. The greenest city would need to protect its forests and restrict the area of urban development. This density is best accomplished by zoning schemes that discourage single-family dwellings and encourage mixed-use high-density developments. Ideally, there would be one day when some of our low density…

    32 votes
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    As the City reviews land use policy and development bylaws through Community, Central Area, and City-Wide planning programs, opportunities for increased residential density (particularly in walkable neighbourhoods with good transit connections) are actively pursued (in balance with concerns for neighbourhood character and community involvement in city building decisions at the neighbourhood level).

  11. Create more affordable family housing within easy walking/biking/transit radius of downtown.

    We need more family housing (i.e. 3-bedroom units that real people with under-$100K incomes can afford) within easy walking/biking/transit radius of downtown. Studies have shown that 20 minutes is the maximum work commute that people can withstand before they start to accrue major daily stress. And coincidentally, letting people live ... See Moreclose to their jobs leads to massive reduction in auto emissions.

    How to create affordable housing?


    • Force developers to offer a mandatory number of units beyond the tiny 1-bedroom and 1+den units that currently dominate the market.

    • Take over apartment buildings and convert them to co-ops.

    • Create a…
    404 votes
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  12. Pedestrianised Streets

    Make the following streets pedestrianised:
    Granville St--in the zone dedicated for transit use. Transit can remain on its current routing along Seymour and Howe. (Issue a refund to Translink for their contribution to the redesign)
    South of Smithe, re-allocate two lanes for cycling (four motor vehicle lanes is overtly excessive).
    South of Nelson, remove the car parking on the sidewalk! That has to be the ***** design imaginable. That space should be for pedestrians, not for perching motor vehicles. This is effectively creating a 6-lane arterial on Granville.

    Gastown, and;

    Robson--from Granville St., west to Jervis St.

    47 votes
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    The Rediscover Granville program was a big success in 2009, and the City will be looking to continue and build upon this work in future years. More broadly, the draft Greenest City plan will include directions to explore pedestrian-only and pedestrian-priority streets in the downtown core. Potential locations will be identified at a later date (e.g. as part of the transportation plan update).

    http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/currentplanning/granvilleredesign/rediscover/

  13. Municipal Control of Blanket Speed Limits

    Limit motor vehicle speeds in the metro core to 40 km/h.
    Place a 30 km/h speed limit on all local residential and collector streets.
    Speed reduction is essential to ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

    19 votes
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    This is a policy direction that was adopted in the 1997 Transportation Plan. Staff have since been in discussion with provincial officials about legislative changes to support municipal control over blanket speed limits. Unfortunately those changes have not yet been adopted by the province.

  14. Make Robson Square a true pedestrian square: NO through street!

    Robson Street has been closed for the block of the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Law Courts due to the landscaping renovations currently taking place - it should ALWAYS be that way :-) Vehicle traffic is easily diverted around this single block - this is one of the few landscaped, sunny, and already publicly used gathering places that exist in the downtown core: make it a TRUE pedestrian square so that the public gatherings and special events that are so often held around the Vancouver Art Gallery can actually be pedestrian friendly events with space for everyone.... Robson Street buses…

    29 votes
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    The draft Greenest City Action Plan will include directions to explore pedestrian-only and pedestrian-priority streets, but specific locations likely won’t be identified until later (e.g. as part of the transportation plan update).

  15. Congestion Pricing Downtown

    Price motor vehicles entering the metropolitan core. Congestion pricing will reduce the number of motor vehicle converging on the Downtown every morning, and will make lane re-allocations and pedestrianised streets an easier process due to reduced demand for road space.

    54 votes
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    The City supports the idea of road / congestion pricing, and bridge tolls are one possible implementation. A regional (as opposed to a downtown or city) approach might work best, given travel behaviour, patterns of movement, and jurisdictional issues. This lies outside City jurisdiction, so our role is limited to advocacy; changes to Provincial legislation are required.

  16. Turn existing "bike streets" into proper separated bike routes

    The network of bike streets is a great start, but drivers aggressively squeeze cyclists close to parked cars, increasing the risk of accident. Create physically separated bike lanes on these routes - perhaps by getting rid of one or both sides of street parking. (Or forbidding driving altogether on those routes!)

    138 votes
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    Thanks for sharing this idea!

    The city’s new active transportation plan will soon be in development, and hopefully completed within the next year.

    A big part of the work ahead is to identify the complete cycling network, and the type of facility that is most appropriate and/or feasible for different routes. In some cases (e.g. busy arterial routes), separated lanes might be the best approach; in other cases (e.g. lower car volume neighbourhood streets), enhanced traffic calming and/or further reducing car access might be more appropriate. Travis cited some great examples in the Netherlands where cars are ‘guests’ that are allowed in, but do not dominate.

    In all cases, the goal should be to make routes that feel safe to all potential cyclists, including beginners, children, and seniors.

    For more information, visit http://vancouver.ca/cycling .

  17. 136 votes
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    You may be interested in learning more about the following programs:

    UBC Line Rapid Transit Study – http://vancouver.ca/ubcline and http://www.translink.ca/ubcline

    Central Broadway Planning Program – http://vancouver.ca/broadway

    Cambie Corridor Planning Program – http://vancouver.ca/cambiecorridor
    ____________________

    Outside City of Vancouver boundaries:

    Surrey Rapid Transit Planning Program – http://www.translink.ca/en/Be-Part-of-the-Plan/Public-Consultation/Current-Consultations/Surrey-Rapid-Transit-Study.aspx

  18. Prioritize cycling infrastructure and policy

    Vancouver will not convince anyone of being the 'greenest' city without a huge modal shift towards cycling, walking, and public transit.

    Cycling infrastructure is already improving (e.g., new Dunsmuir two-way bike lane), but policy needs to improve (e.g., a transportation hierarchy, with pedestrians followed by cyclists at the top).

    Also, we will NEVER get the general population cycling daily without repealing mandatory helmet legislation. It just won't happen -- it's too inconvenient.

    73 votes
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  19. 543 votes
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    Requires support from TransLink. The City will continue to support this idea, through measures including secured rights-of-way (e.g. the centre median on 1st Avenue near the Olympic Village). The recent Olympic Line streetcar demonstration was very successful and helps make the business case for this project.

  20. Granville bike/walking corridor

    Granville street was happily car free for years. Cars fluidly use Seymore and Howe for accessing the Granville St. bridge. Let's eliminate the road and parking on Granville St. and replace it with a two way bike path, gardens/parks, public gathering areas and outdoor eating. Having an alternative transportation area in the core of our city will be a strong symbol of our goals.

    5 votes
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    The Rediscover Granville program was a big success in 2009, and the City will be looking to continue and build upon this work in future years. More broadly, the draft Greenest City plan will include directions to explore pedestrian-only and pedestrian-priority streets in the downtown core. Potential locations will be identified at a later date (e.g. as part of the transportation plan update).

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